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Nawaikula breached trust of voters: Judge

 

May 20, 2022 02:56:29 PM

Nawaikula breached trust of voters: Judge Judge Justice Thushara Kumarage while sentencing former Opposition Parliamentarian Niko Nawaikula to three years imprisonment said the abuse of parliamentary allowances by a Member of Parliament has made the public lose trust in the democratic process of this country.

Justice Kumarage said the immediate result of such action is a serious damage to the reputation of Parliament that could result in overall confidence in the democratic process of this country.

He said it was noticed by the court how receipts to Buca Village were meticulously preplanned by the accused and he had created his own acquittals.

He said the accused in this matter was a Parliamentarian of this country for several years, as a consequence he was well aware of that he was recourse with trust and responsibility.

Justice Kumarage said Nawaikula had a responsibility to uphold the law of this country as he had taken an oath when sworn in as a Member of Parliament four years ago.

He said his voters had put a lot of trust in him to carry out his duties with dignity as an Opposition Parliamentarian while voting for him in 2018.

He said the former Social Democratic Liberal Party representative had misused the allowances provided to Members of Parliament through public money.  

He said the money that was wrongfully obtained by him could have been used to provide more computers to the young children in Nakama District School.

Judge Kumarage said the money could have also been used to train more health professionals from Buca Village to provide better health services to the elderlies like his own mother.

He said Nawaikula has no previous convictions, and he has significantly contributed to the development of Buca Village.

He said the defence lawyer believes that his client should not be put behind bars as he has already been punished after he had lost his seat in Parliament.

He said the court would have been more remorseful to the accused if he had repaid the money earlier in the case which would save time for the court.

 

Nawaikula was sentenced for 36 months for giving false information to a public servant and obtaining financial advantage.

He had falsely stated that his permanent place of residence was in Buca village and allegedly obtained $20,201.35 between August 2019 and April 2020.

He will have to serve two years behind bars with a year of suspended sentence of five years with eighteen months of non-parole and can appeal the sentence within 30 days.

By Nacanieli Tuilevuka

 

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